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Setting Goals for the New Year – The 3 Simple Secrets to Success

With the holidays in the rear-view mirror and the new year right around the corner, it is a great time to sit down and think about setting goals for the year ahead. Setting goals for the New Year is super important. However, statistics show many people end up failing within the first 32 days.

But this year that doesn’t have to be you! There are time tested methods to help you accomplish your goals. With these 3 secrets to success you will be set up to end next year victorious.

These 3 tips will provide you with a framework to accomplish your goals. They will establish your purpose, clarify the roles you take up, and help you hold yourself accountable.

setting goals
Make this the year you establish the goals that will take you where you want to go!

Start with Why – Setting Goals For The New Year

Imagine for a second you are at a funeral. People gather around to mourn the loss of an amazing person. One by one family members, friends, and coworkers walk to the front of the room and talk about the their loved one.

They reminisce on memories, tell beautiful stories, and admire the characteristics of their lost companion. Then, it is your turn. As you walk up to the microphone to say a few words, you look down at the body.

Something stands out to you… You realize the person in the casket is YOU! All these people came to your funeral to tell others how big of an impact you had on their lives. This is what happens when you start with why.

By starting with the end in mind, you are able to create a roadmap for the type of impact you want to have on others. Our lives are a culmination of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds – each one adding up to create our life story. Knowing this, it can be good to reflect on what you would want people to say about you at your funeral.

Identifying Roles

This can be accomplished in a few steps. First, take the time to identify some roles that are important in your life. They can be any position in which you believe you fill. Partner, brother, sister, mother, coworker, individual, and friend are just a few to choose from.

By starting with the end in mind, you are able to create a roadmap for the type of impact you want to have on others.

Once you have identified your roles, think about how you would want to be remembered in each of them. How would you want to be remembered as a parent? As a co-worker? As a friend? What would people say about you at your funeral? Take some time to write these down. We will use this to set your goals!

See the Big Picture – Setting Goals For The New Year

While visualizing your funeral isn’t a fun thing to do, it opens your eyes to what is really important. Identifying what means the most to you can help you narrow down your “why”. When you start with why you have a driving purpose to continue when things get tough.

The reason most people quit their goals is because their “why” isn’t large enough. However, if you can connect to a deeper purpose, you can keep going when times get tough.

In every role in your life, you have the opportunity to succeed. As a parent, spouse, teacher, coach or whatever your pursuit may be, you can achieve your goals. However, we all know people who spend too much time focusing on one area and neglect the rest.

The successful businessman who ignores his family for his career or the parent who is so obsessed with their newborn they neglect their spouse. Examples like these ground us to see the bigger picture.

Identifying what means the most to you can help you narrow down your “why”.

While there will be times in life that will require extra focus on a particular role, we must zoom out. Taking a look at your life holistically allows you to create a complete picture of what it means to accomplish your goals.

This process takes you one step closer to setting goals for the New Year. Let’s jump into the steps.

Step 1: Identify Roles – Setting Goals For The New Year

The first step in setting goals for the New Year is to identify your roles. During our funeral exercise above, you discovered the roles that are important to you.

Now pick 3-5 roles you would like to focus on this year. This is the first secret! Keep your New Year’s goals aligned to the roles you play in life. By aligning them to your most important roles, you will be sure to have a connection to your “why”.

Another added benefit of using roles to set goals is they naturally segment your week and day. We all transition between roles throughout a week and day, so setting goals this way is natural.

When somebody ask what you do or who you are, you typically answer with roles. “I am a pharmacist” or “I am a mother”. Use this secret to your advantage!

Step 2: Setting Goals – Setting Goals For The New Year

Then, the second step in setting goals for the New Year is to actually set your goals. You have identified your “why”, picked the roles you want to focus on, and now it is time to set your goals.

Think back to what you want people to say about you at your funeral. For each role, what is the one thing you can do this year that will move you closer to making their sentiments a reality?

In alignment with your “why”, pick one (and only one!) goal for each role. This is secret #2. By sticking to one massively impactful goal for each role, you will put more effort into it. With a smaller, yet more impactful focus, you will put 100% of your focus into accomplishing the goals.

Not only will setting goals help you this year, but in the years to come as well.

Additionally, you should make your goals S.M.A.R.T. Specific. Measurable. Actionable. Realistic. Time Bound. By following the S.M.A.R.T. framework, you will be able to set a goal that stretches you just beyond your current limits but is still achievable.

Step 3: Create a System – Setting Goals For The New Year

Finally, you have done it! You have officially set your goals for the New Year. Now comes the difficult part – executing on those goals. This is a phenomenal opportunity for you to take advantage of some structure and guardrails to ensure your goals are a success!

Creating a system to review your status and set yourself up for success is so important. Earlier we discussed how your roles naturally fall into a weekly and daily rhythm.

In the same way your roles fall into this pattern, it is important you make scheduled time to accomplish your goals. Naturally, most people’s lives operate on a weekly schedule – so we are going to take advantage of this!

Don’t let another year go by without putting a plan together to reach your goals!

Find a time in the week (generally Sunday’s work best) to sit down and plan action steps you can take to get closer to your goals. Secret number 3 at last!

These action steps are tasks that correspond to each of your roles. Pick 1-2 actions you can take this week that will move you closer to your goals. Using your calendar, schedule time to complete these tasks.

Furthermore, if you are able to stick to this habit, you will be sure to accomplish your goals in the New Year!